Spending Christmas abroad - pros and cons
Christmas, the magical time of year when children become excitable, anticipating Father Christmas’ arrival with their presents. The stresses of getting the decorations up, the wrapping dilemma and, of course, trying to cater for all your guests and the pressure of getting the Christmas dinner perfect - there’s a lot going on.
Cosying up in front of the fire with loved ones and watching movies, what’s not to love? Well, maybe the stress, the arguments, not enough chairs for all the guests, the dinner being ruined?
No wonder so many people and families decide to go abroad for this festive time to escape all the aggravation, and to enjoy Christmas in a new setting, a warmer climate and around different people.
Holidaying abroad at Christmas time can be a great adventure, but it can also make you miss home and your Christmas traditions. Not having all of your family close by and participating in the traditions you love can make going away seem a little less enjoyable at this time of year.
Let alone the change in climate - Christmas is meant to be cold, frosty and snow filled if you’re from the UK, and so having a barbecue on the beach in shorts and flip flops could make you feel un-festive and far, far away from the Christmassy spirit.
In Australia for example, Christmas falls in summertime, but yet they still go along with the Christmas theme that we are accustomed to; Father Christmas flying through a snowy sky, Christmas cards with winter themes and even grottos with fake snow and elves pop up across the country.
However, they do also have their takes on the usual Christmas traditions, such as having a barbecue on the beach for Christmas dinner and, instead of a turkey or goose as the main focal point of dinner, they will do a spread of seafood. Even reindeer can be dropped and replaced by kangaroos pulling Father Christmas’ sleigh.
When spending Christmas abroad, cultures are different and what Christmas means to you can be completely different to what it means to the locals where you are staying. For more information, have a look at our post on Christmas customs around the world.
Overall, going abroad for Christmas can be a great experience. To mix with different cultural traditions at this time of year will broaden your horizons and maybe make you rethink how you celebrate Christmas. You may even want to incorporate some of the new traditions you experience into your future Christmases.
Taking a step back away from your traditional Christmas could help you reassess where you think you can improve your own festivities, including how to de-stress or to re-evaluate the whole meaning of what Christmas is to you. It could rejuvenate your whole perception of this festive time.
You’ll be surprised at how many other travellers you will see escaping the madness of this time of year - donning their Christmas hats and walking along a beach, trying to get the perfect, exotic festive picture, to send back home to friends and family.
With the plus sides, there are some downsides too. Missing your family at this family orientated time can have a bigger impact on you that you realise. Yes, we may all get fed up with our family but Christmas is when everyone comes together to have a good time and this, you could miss. Yes you could always organise a Skype video chat, but there may be a big time difference for you to think about - so you might end up waiting to talk to your family.
You won’t be sampling your mum’s finest Christmas dinner, and you probably won’t have that big pile of presents waiting for you under the tree, like you would back home. Obviously, you’ll be missing out on the wonderful, cold, wet, wintry British weather, which you never know - you could actually miss? Perhaps not! If you’re somewhere hot, you may feel that you miss out on that Christmassy feeling, as you should be feeling cold and getting ready to snuggle by the fire and eat another turkey sandwich!
There are many pros and cons to being away at the most magical time of the year, but if you go with the right mindset in that it will more than likely be the most different Christmas you have ever had, with new experiences awaiting you, then why shouldn’t it be one of the best Christmases you’ve ever had?